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August Offensive

By August 5, 2015No Comments

In the three months following the landing of the Allied forces on the Gallipoli Peninsula the situation between both sides had developed into a stalemate. In early August 1915 Australian, New Zealand, British and Indian troops launched a series of assaults against the Turkish strongholds with the aim of breaking this deadlock.

The August Offensive began with a diversionary attack at Lone Pine on the afternoon of 6 August 1915. Units of the 1st Infantry Brigade quickly succeeded in capturing a series of Turkish trenches,but  with both sides sustaining heavy casualties in the process.

Meanwhile, regiments of the New Zealand Mounted Rifles attacked along the valleys leading to the heights of the Sari Bair Range, to Chunuk Bair, Hill Q and Hill 971. They were followed by the New Zealand Infantry Brigade, the 29th Infantry Brigade of Sikhs and Gurkhas, and the 4th Australian Infantry Brigade. They managed to seize Chunuk Bair, however, the Turks recaptured the peak in the following days.

At dawn the following morning the 3rd Australian Light Horse Brigade charged Turkish defences at The Nek, only to be mown down by machine-gun fire: 375 of the 600-strong Brigade became casualties.

British forces had landed at Suvla Bay late on the night of 6 August. They managed to secure the bay, but were unable to consolidate their position or take the surrounding heights due to heavy casualties.

The August Offensive ultimately failed, and the stalemate resumed. The campaign on Gallipoli was eventually abandoned; Allied troops withdrew from the peninsula four months later, in December 1915.